Mobile broadband users to double in five years: Ericsson

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 21, 2013 - Page 14

Telecoms equipment and service provider Ericsson yesterday forecast Taiwan’s mobile broadband subscriptions would more than double to 40 million users over the next five years, as demand for data transmission grows after the launch of fourth-generation (4G) services.

There were 17.82 million mobile broadband users at the end of last year, according to National Communications Commission data.

As faster Internet connections boost demand for mobile devices, the smartphone penetration rate is expected to grow to 70 percent in Taiwan by 2018, Ericsson Taiwan president Philip Tseng (曾詩淵) said at a media briefing.

That would be significant progress from between 35 percent and 40 percent smartphone penetration this year, Tseng said.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G technology delivers speeds of almost 300Mbit/s, 10 times faster than on Internet connections on third-generation (3G) technology, Tseng said, citing a speed test in South Korea.

LTE technology also helps significantly improve video latency to about 40 milliseconds, from about 160 milliseconds on 3G technology, he said.

The NCC is scheduled to auction 4G licenses at the end of this year and services are expected to commence two years later.

Ericsson forecast that global LTE subscribers would grow to 100 million this year from last year’s 55 million. By 2018, global LTE users are expected to increase to 1.6 billion, the Swedish company said.

Ericsson said 50 percent of global smartphone traffic uses its networks at present.